Campus News Society & Culture

UGA author wins John Hope Franklin Publication Prize

Athens, Ga. – A University of Georgia professor’s book about the rise of Wal-Mart and conservative Christianity has been awarded the 2010 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize from the American Studies Association.

To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Bethany Moreton, an assistant professor of history and women’s studies at UGA, will officially receive the honor in November at the ASA’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The book provides an in-depth account of the economic and social conditions that permitted a small Arkansas five-and-dime to become the nation’s largest retailer. The deeply researched piece also offers insights on how Wal-Mart’s use of rural female and Southern labor helped steer it toward marketplace dominance.

“I am grateful to the Franklin College for its support of the book, and to my students for their insights that informed it,” Moreton said.

The book, Moreton’s first, has been highly lauded, having recently also won the 2010 Frederick Jackson Tuner Prize from the Organization of American Historians.

Moreton is the author of several articles on globalization, conservative Christianity and the feminization of work in the service economy. A 2006 Yale University graduate, her dissertation won the institution’s university-wide Theron Rockwell Field Prize, the Southern Historical Association’s C. Vann Woodward Prize, the Business History Conference’s Herman E. Krooss Prize and the Labor and Employment Relations Association’s Kochan-Sleigh award.

In addition, she received the 2009 Emerging Scholar Prize from the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan.

The John Hope Franklin Publication Prize is awarded annually for the best-published book in American studies. It includes a $750 prize.

Chartered in 1951, the American Studies Association is the oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history. It boasts 5,000 members and 2,200 library and other institutional subscribers.